Grist List

Terrified by peak oil, FedEx turns to biofuels, efficiency

FedEx owns 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks, which is why CEO Fred Smith is crazy for energy efficiency.

Animals

Forest Service employee traps and tortures wolf, doesn’t get fired

When wolves came off the endangered species list in western states like Idaho, wildlife advocates worried how the species would fare without protection. Ranchers aren’t known to be particularly fond of wolves, for starters. In March, a disturbing story confirmed some of advocates’ worst fears: A Forest Service employee had trapped and tortured a wolf in northern Idaho. The Center for Biological Diversity is asking for an investigation into the incident, Environmental News Service reports. The employee, Josh Bransford, “posted online photos of a wolf he had trapped that was then non-fatally shot by people who saw the animal from …

Critical List: A feathered cousin of T. rex; a solar panel thinner than spider silk

The Yutyrannus, a newly discovered dinosaur, was huge, related to Tyrannosaurus rex, and covered in feathers. Thousands of dead dolphins have been washing up on Peruvian beaches. Austrian and Japanese scientists teamed up to make a solar panel that’s thinner than a thread of spider silk. Drought in England means that anyone caught using a hose faces a fine equivalent to more than $1,500.

Green Cars

Four cars, built by teenagers, that get over 1,000 miles per gallon

The Shell Eco-Marathon is sort of a weird contradiction: It's all about challenging students to make hyper-fuel-efficient cars, i.e. kind of the opposite of Shell's goals.

Climate & Energy

Monster hailstone will eat your family

Man alive, check out the hailstone that fell in sunny Hawaii earlier this month. It’s four inches long and it has TEETH. I’m not actually convinced it’s not an embryonic yeti.

Flame retardants can turn a burning room into a gas chamber

You know brominated and chlorinated flame retardants are bad when when even Walmart bans them from its products. Unfortunately, some fire codes require them.

Half-bike, half-car Velomobile goes 80 miles on 6 cents of electricity

The only thing better than a Velomobile is an electric Velomobile, which is the exact same thing, but with the addition of a kit to electrify the bike.

Food

A cookbook you can eat

A German design firm has created a cookbook made of fresh pasta. The pasta is printed with a lasagna recipe, so that the pages of the cookbook actually become the layers of the dish.

Pollution

Fungi can eat pollution right out of the soil

Fungi are freaking amazing: Give them enough time and they will eat anything, even the toxins spread over polluted sites around the world. Mohamed Hijri, a professor at the University of Montreal, figured — why wait for nature to take its time neutralizing the damage we’ve done to the planet? Why not urge it along? And so he started identifying the fungi and microorganisms that do the best job at cleaning up toxins.

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